All three of Apple’s cornerstone products are highly profitable, selling at record levels, and helped Apple’s spoils of war to exceed $100-billion. What about Apple’s little hobby product? Customers who use it, love it, and all agree it’s missing one important component.
Stick A DVR Into The Hobby
Apple’s little hobby is Apple TV. This is the hockey puck size box that runs iOS and lets your Mac, iPhone, and iPad send video to your TV via an HDMI cable.
In addition to iTunes movies and TV shows, and photos and music and personal videos, Apple TV has apps. What kind of apps?
For whatever reason, Apple hasn’t bothered to let app developers try their hand at creating Apple TV apps, so we’re stuck with the basics such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, MLB, NBA, NHL, and the Wall Street Journal.
Sure, the movies and TV shows are HD. Yes, Apple TV is the much beloved hobby way to get iPhone and iPad apps to the big screen, but in the absence of an option to stream or buy every movie or TV show ever made, Apple TV has one shortcoming.
Where’s the DVR? There’s no digital video recorder in Apple TV because TV channels don’t flow through the device. The device flows to the TV.
To get a DVR into the stream requires a Mac, a cable television receiver, and EyeTV. Elgato’s EyeTV is the software that your Mac uses to capture cable TV video.
It functions just like the cable company’s DVR, and similar to TiVo. The app comes with a built-in television schedule that matches to your locale, making it easy to select and record TV shows and broadcast movies.
If iTunes had a DVR capability, it would look like EyeTV.
EyeTV can convert the video and send TV shows and movies to iTunes on your Mac, which can then send the video to Apple TV which sends it to your widescreen television.
The added benefit of EyeTV as the Mac’s DVR is that TV shows and movies can also be exported to your iPhone and iPad which gives your TV watching even more mobility.
The brains of a Mac-based DVR is EyeTV, which can record shows on a schedule, record an entire season, and even gives you rudimentary editing controls so you can trim or edit short clips from a show or movie.
EyeTV exports video to everything Mac, including iMovie, iDVD, DVD Studio Pro, and any Mac app that can handle standard H.264 video and audio.
EyeTV can even share videos on your home or office network or via Wi-Fi from your Mac using Shared Libraries. You won’t even need Apple TV.
So, why doesn’t Apple build-in an EyeTV-like app to Apple TV? First, Apple has long been known to be working on a different TV solution involving streaming on demand.
Second, the cable companies, TV networks, advertisers, and content creators all want a slice of the revenue pie. For now, Apple TV remains a hobby, but add EyeTV and a cable TV receiver to your Mac, and you’re almost there.